A Glimpse of Mi Vida...

It started with a missions trip to Camden, where my life and perspective were changed and where this blog began. Life has been a roller coaster filled with its ups and downs and I'm excited for the adventure and discovering what God has in store, even though I really dislike roller coasters... I am a Lady in Waiting...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ss = Support System

S is for Support System

With the recent trip to Peru, my blog has been surrounded with my thoughts and ideas about Peru. I'd like to dedicate this blog to my team and to my donors... you have been the best support system.

Going into the trip, I was very nervous about my team. How would we function together, how would our strengths and weakness mesh? Would they get my jokes or think my laugh was annoying? How would we support each other? Would it be cliquey?... that was a huge relief when I got on Team Peru that I didn't really know anyone because I'd seen the formation of some other teams and I didn't want to feel left out on my own team since I'd been left out or stared right through by people on previous and other teams and at the church. There is nothing worse than the feeling of like you're invisible when you're at church for God and you're wanting to serve. Also, would I be supported by family and friends, church members and even members from my parent's church (who had supported me when I went through APU to Camden).

My words cannot even give God the complete praise of how well He worked every single detail and piece together on the team.

Not only did I raise all of my funds, but I raised above and beyond. I am so thankful to all of the donors, all of the people who paid for flocking and got flocked. Thankful for the friends and family that supported me. I want to thank a few really special people who would not have made this trip possible if it weren't for their prayers and generosity...

1) Lynette and Kelly- amidst getting married and moving into a new house, this lovely couple who I met in life group asked how much fundraising I had left. I told them that I had only $300 left but wasn't too worried that God would provide as we had three fundraisers still remaining before crunch time. Kelly who works in the same complex as me came into my work to say hi. He said that him and Lynette knew that I had been working extremely hard and wanted to support me, he then proceeded to write a check for the remainder of my trip. I cried. I could not be more thankful for these two amazing people, they are not only an example of good and faithful servants, but are also an amazing example of a Christian couple. Thank you to the McArthur's.

2) Two amazing women in my life. Charis Hueftle and  Priscilla Chau... two amazing women that I could not even fully describe what they mean to me or the impact they have made on me. We met in small group and they have been such an inspiration and a strength. Charis and her husband Dace were recently married and amidst their wedding aftermath and finding a home and jobs, they graciosly donated as well. This meant so much because I value and respect them and their relationship so much. Charis has always been there for me whenever I needed her and she is such a inspiration to push forward and to continue my relationship with God and constantly be in prayer and in the Word. Priscilla is my best friend and she has been such an encourager and emotional support for me. She made me a letter for each day I was in Peru, she doesn't do encouragement in that way. She encourages me in so many other ways. It meant the world that she took the time to pray for me, to wait patiently as I worked like crazy to raise funds and as I was busy with meetings and preparing for the trip. She took the time to sit down and pray and write a letter for each day that I would be away from her. What a blessing. To know also that she prays for me every single day, I couldn't ask for a better best friend.

3) The Bishops. Kris and Brian. They are the biggest blessing I never knew until recently. To give you a short back story. Brian and Kris worked with me a Trunk or Treat two years ago and I never knew their names or if I would ever see them again.  They were hospitable and the reason I decided to continue attending CCV and desiring to serve. Come to see them over a year later, they were my friend's aunt and uncle. They have been so encouraging and I have loved talking with Kris over lunch about God and the importance of prayer. Then they gave me the shock of a lifetime when they donated a couple hundred dollars to my trip. Thank you Kris and Brian, you continue to impact my life and my desire to serve. People like you continue to change the world through your hospitality, one person at a time.

4) Lastly, I am so grateful for the support and prayers of my life group. Not only did they come to my team's send off prayer and night, but we all went out for froyo after small group. They have been praying for me for weeks and then were so encouraging and made being home easier after returning from Peru. They allowed me to lead a small group after I returned and share every little and big detail of Peru with them. I am so blessed to have each of them in my life and could not ask for more encouraging women in my life. Love you, girls!

Now team time and the inspirations in my life in Peru...

Jeannette and Stacie- they were best friends on the trip. They laughed and cried with me on the trip. We flocked together and bonded before the trip and we made fun of Ariel and laughed at his jokes when necessary. My favorite moments and memories of Jeannette were when she shared her testimony and seeing her engage and laugh with the kids. Jeannette shared her testimony and it was so beautiful to see her cry and to see the congregation connect with her. They got to see how God has worked through her despite her upbringing or circumstances. Testimonies are a beautiful thing. Jeannette speaks Spanish and is going to school and training to be a teach and you could see that show through her love for the kids. She had such joy as she communicated and played with them, as did Stacie. Stacie embraced the kids with such love even though their was a language barrier. She danced and sung and you could see the joy within her as she grinned ear to ear. Stacie was such an encouragement to me, especially on the days that we went walking and I was struggling. She would wait for me and encourage me with her words, she made me feel as if I wasn't the only one feeling the pain of the altitude or millions of stairs.

Nate and Brigette- what a lovely and fun couple to be on the trip with. Nate was our co-leader and brought such wisdom and strength to the table. He made sure we were always in order and always on time and schedule. Nate also allowed me to join and participate too when he would take over the camera or responsibilities, so that I didn't feel like I was missing out or feeling left out because I was in-charge of the church's team camera. Brigette, wo(man) did we have some great times. We stayed up late together and work up early together and we laughed like there was no tomorrow. We had deep conversations and many "pillow talks". She was such an encouragement to the whole team leaving us daily RPI's (random post its). She understood me and talked me off my emotional ledges or cried with me. I cannot imagine the trip without her, she laughed at my ridiculousness and I at hers. Love you, sesi mami.

Taunee and Jessica- wo(man) do that possess more strength than they will ever know. Taunee is so strong-willed and laid it all down to just follow and be on the trip. She laid down her motives or agenda and I value and admire that so much. She just wanted to be a servant and follower on the trip, to go where she was led. I don't think a lot of people have the strength to do that, to release their control and hand it over to someone else in order to serve. Taunee also was so encouraging on the Waynu Picchu hike because she gave me something to look forward too, she'd announce how much further we had and just inspired me to push forward more and more. Jessica is a might amazing woman as well. Not only is she so smart and wise, but she is also so compassionate. We have had some great conversations, especially since being back from Peru. She has been like a big sister to me and was an amazing encouragement in doing the puppet show together and taking some weight and stress off my shoulders, but she was also such an encouragement on the hike. My favorite moment on the hike with Jessica was when Ariel when to take a photo and out of exhaustion and the desire to cry she just kind of held me and kissed my forehead. She pours out such knowledge and wisdom and she is going to make such an impact on so many people.

Mark- Maaawwwwkkkk. Dad, as I refer to him in my heart. Mark has been an amazing encouragement to me and I could not imagine my life without him and his family. They have truly been a blessing. Mark had been praying for me and asked me to be a leader in training on the trip. He has been a mentor and has discipled me and guided me in my leadership and in my walk with God. He has been an amazing example to everyone on the team and I can without a doubt say that he has encouraged and supported every single person on the team. It was so beautiful to see Mark play with the kids and to speak Spanish fluently, the kids just loved him. There is nothing better than see joy on a child's face and it reflecting back onto yours. I think one of the most encouraging moments for me was atop Waynu Picchu as I cried and hyperventilated and couldn't see or breathe, he just stood there with me and tried to calm me down and offered me food to eat so I wouldn't get sick. Then he and Ariel helped me down the mountain with each and every step, showing me or tell me where to step or offering me a hand. I don't think  I've ever been more emotionally or physically more encouraged than having two awesome men of God, hold my hand through difficulty and pain and guide the way. God really blessed me with Mark and Ariel.

Ariel- First off, Happy Birthday. Ariel blew me away on this trip because he always had me laughing but I really got to see his compassionate side. He stayed behind with me with every step that I took as I struggled to move or breathe. He taught me how to use my inhaler and had heartfelt conversations with me about missions and life and God's calling. My two funniest memories were on the plane to Peru, something that happen that only Ariel and I witnessed amongst the team or he witnessed first. Then playing Apple to Apple with him and the team, there is no science to the way he plays. One thing that I am most appreciative for is that I think I got see a glimpse of the Ariel that God sees. A part of who God wants and desires him to be and I'm not sure a lot of people get to see that side. I am also grateful because Ariel helped me both up and down my biggest struggle in Peru, all while caring my backpack as well. Ariel, you my friend are an extreme blessing and I am so thankful we're friends. This trip would not be possible without you.

So thank you to everyone for your love and support. I love you all.

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